IE8 RTM expected in March

TechARP has predicted that Microsoft will reach IE8's RTM milestone in March during the last 2 weeks. TechARP expects so because Microsoft plans to announce the final details of the IE8 RTM schedule and available language versions by March 5, 2009.

The malaysian website also expects Microsoft to determine a time frame for the public release of IE8 via Windows Update by March 8. There was a time gap of 8 weeks between IE7's RC1 and its public release. A similar 8-weeks time limit applied to IE8's RC1 in January suggests the final build's availability around March 23 according to TechARP.

Microsoft has declined to confirm or deny the TechARP speculation saying that out timeline is driven by the quality of the product and Microsoft is deliberate in its approach to releasing new products & feels strong obliged to its customers to do so in a responsible manner to ensure they get the safest, most reliable product possible.

OEM's can choose IE8 as an optional install to their Windows Vista or Windows XP pre-installed products. IE8 is currently in RC1 and is available as an upgrade to Vista and XP users. IE8's final version was anticipated to be released when Windows 7 hits RTM. Earlier availablility of IE8 might sugguest that Windows 7 will reach users by the end of this year.

For those who missed out the features of IE8, here is Neowin's exclusive IE8 review and you can download and try IE8 RC1 browser here.

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Considering the time diff between IE7 and IE8:
1. IE9 won't even be announced till March 2010.
2. IE9 will remain in beta for at least 1 year like IE8.
which means IE9 will RTM in H1 2011. By that time, Firefox would have achieved the dominant marketshare with Safari nearing IE's marketshare.
Plus there's no Bill Gates to ask the IE team now "What the hell is going on". But there's Google Chrome on the horizon, who knows? MS will only produce good products if there's competition.

Looking at this from a developers point of view as myself and welcome the CSS 2.1 but aren't we missing something here..? The problem isn't with the browsers its with the design of the website which causes the problem. If all developers fallowed the code of practice when designing a website then all websites on the internet would run a lot faster. It's the way in which the website is designed which slows down browsing. Take Neowin for example the site is well balanced and very well thought out and designed to suite the viewer. Neowin loads very fast in Safari, Firefox... but a little sluggish in Opera and MSIE7 and 8.

If you can see what I'm trying to explain, that it's down to the we in which the website is designed and if we all followed the code of practice when designing a website everything would run smooth.

I've had issues with IE8 crashing on me, both the beta and the RC version. I hope that MS got all of my logs and figures out why it crashes. I've reverted back to 7 because of the amount of times IE would freeze.

And anyone with any sense will use a third party browser like Firefox, for everything except Windows Update. Roll on Firefox 3.1

boho said,
And anyone with any sense will use a third party browser like Firefox, for everything except Windows Update. Roll on Firefox 3.1


I must not have any sense then, because I use IE8 just because I want to, not because it has xxx standard supported... it works for what I do with it.. I have FireFox also, but rarely use it... anyways you dont need IE for windows update anymore as of Windows Vista. it's an internal applicaiton now so no need for IE for that

I've been using IE8 since beta 1 and RC1 works great. The websites I have visited work fine, Javascript performance needs to be work out but that's about it.

As for other stuff like Acid3, you'll have to wait for IE9 or maybe they'll do a IE8.1 or 8.5 again.

IE 8 is great, i used to be a firefox guy all the way but lately i have been underwhelmed by it for some reason, it seems slow to function with a few extensions instaleld that i used on day to day basis. It is slow to open as well. IE 8 on the other hand is a vast vast imrovement over IE7. It has awesome tab browsing capabilities and its search bar is just great. I love the Shift+Enter feature as well. I know u can get most of these features in firefox with extensions but in my experience they slow down the overall working of firefox. Extensions are a good idea, but if overdone, they can be a nightmare for users. Thus i findmyself using IE 8 a lot more then firefox. 90 % of the tym its IE8. and the speed of browsing is vastly improved as well....
great job microsoft!
(these aremy observations, your mileage may vary)

usman767 said,
IE 8 is great, i used to be a firefox guy all the way but lately i have been underwhelmed by it for some reason, it seems slow to function with a few extensions instaleld that i used on day to day basis. It is slow to open as well. IE 8 on the other hand is a vast vast imrovement over IE7. It has awesome tab browsing capabilities and its search bar is just great. I love the Shift+Enter feature as well. I know u can get most of these features in firefox with extensions but in my experience they slow down the overall working of firefox. Extensions are a good idea, but if overdone, they can be a nightmare for users. Thus i findmyself using IE 8 a lot more then firefox. 90 % of the tym its IE8. and the speed of browsing is vastly improved as well....
great job microsoft!
(these aremy observations, your mileage may vary)

Yeah I'll have to admit that IE8 on Windows 7 outclasses Firefox.

Firefox 3.1 is a very nice update though, especially in terms of speed. With the new TraceMonkey engine, it's a bit like running Google Chrome with extension support. (and no tab isolation of course) I'm not sure what the problem with extensions would be if you just can control yourself.

You can't even compare IE 8 to Firefox. IE is garbage no matter what version it is. IE 8 STILL has no CSS3 support, so you can kiss those easy rounded corners goodbye. And IE still doesn't have a Firebug equivalent.

Yea, another MS product that I will be forced to upgrade to and undergo tons of testing before doing so...well, guess being bored at work cuz of budget cuts is no longer a concern.

You can choose not to install IE8 by installing the IE8 automatic delivery blocker. Even then, shouldn't these things be handled with WSUS?

techbeck said,
Yea, another MS product that I will be forced to upgrade to and undergo tons of testing before doing so...well, guess being bored at work cuz of budget cuts is no longer a concern.

if you cannot perform your job and are just wasting company dollars just sitting around and being bored then you should be replaced with someone who can do the job.

KevinN206 said,
You can choose not to install IE8 by installing the IE8 automatic delivery blocker. Even then, shouldn't these things be handled with WSUS?

Dont use WSUS cept for the servers and have disabled auto updates acrossed the board. We are going to eventually install a system made by KACE that will handle all of our updates and app deployments. Of course, this project has been put on hold...


soldier1st said,
if you cannot perform your job and are just wasting company dollars just sitting around and being bored then you should be replaced with someone who can do the job.

Wow, you just like to reply for the hell of it and provide no info huh?

I do my job, very well I may ad. I work for a Credit Union so we have special APPS that we use that need to be tested thoroughly. If we do not test these apps, then we can have transaction errors and down time. Several of out apps are web based so WE NEED TO TEST IE before any major updates. Also, a lot of out funding and projects have been cut due to the way this lovely economy is going.

So there, that explain it better for you?

I really hope this is true. My local libraries around town still use IE 6!! Its frustrating to search for jobs, email and post something on Neowin without tabs. I hope when IE 8 final gets released. I can ask who the local IT guy is for the library computers and urge him to install IE 8. Firefox would be awesome in the library but sadly not likely to happen soon.

CalumJR said,
That is good to hear.

The sooner they finalise Internet Explorer 8, the sooner the majority of Internet users will be able to use a browser which almost fully supports the CSS 2.1 standards (many of this majority do not know better alternatives exist).

with an amazing score of 20/100 in Acid3 test... sorry, but they have yet to make a browser to "fully supports standards" or at least be close.

Acid3, the so-called standard that nobody uses. The hype over the Acid standards (especially 3) masks the failure to live up to standards in existing critical areas, like HTML and CSS.

"Acid3, the so-called standard that nobody uses."

Acid3 is a test, not a standard. It's a test of standards that are useful and people want to use, as well as testing that browsers handle invalid things correctly (i.e. XML with invalid characters should be an error, not allowed through)

IE gets such a low score because it's a fair bit behind the other browsers, so Acid3 is testing things IE just doesn't support (like SVG)

Faisal Islam said,
ya....poor ACID3 score...i think the should go with WebKit.


ACID 3 is aimed at css 3 and standards like SVG. Not CSS 2.1 which was the microsoft goal for IE8.

Microsoft by the way do have their own test suite for CSS 2.1 which has been validated by the w3c. They do better at that test suite than their competitors (not surprisingly ;))

NGPixel said,
with an amazing score of 20/100 in Acid3 test... sorry, but they have yet to make a browser to "fully supports standards" or at least be close.

As well as what the others have said, I never said it fully supports standards :S

I despise Internet Explorer and how far behind all of the other major browsers it is. I use Firefox for many reasons.

However, because the majority of Internet users use Internet Explorer, I'd rather them use a browser which has better support of CSS 2.1 standards, as I am a software engineer and I would like my websites to work in Internet Explorer with needing to change minimal code (like they work in every other browser anyway).

with an amazing score of 20/100 in Acid3 test... sorry, but they have yet to make a browser to "fully supports standards" or at least be close.

Acid3, the so-called standard that nobody uses.

First, the reason techniques in Acid3 aren't commonly used, is because they aren't supported across the board, especially not by IE. Second, IE 8 do make important improvements by finally providing CSS2 support, which is more important than Acid3 support. Still, Acid3 is quite important for the future to support, especially due to advanced web services. (read up on what Acid3 tests if you don't follow me)
ACID 3 is aimed at css 3 and standards like SVG.

And, perhaps most importantly -- the DOM.

Passing Acid3 was never the goal for IE8. The team said this from the start, the goal was Acid2 and they pass that, so they met their targets.

I'll wait for IE8 RTM, and I hope we can install it in Win7 beta as well. I don't wanna go back into XP if I can help it.

And who knows, maybe the rtm version will score higher. Either way, they'll get that with IE9 for sure.

That is good to hear.

The sooner they finalise Internet Explorer 8, the sooner the majority of Internet users will be able to use a browser which almost fully supports the CSS 2.1 standards (many of this majority do not know better alternatives exist).

Do you really think "the majority" of internet users know or even care about css 2.1 compliance? People just want to access the websites, that's all. As for "better alternatives", I've been using Firefox since version 1.0 but i don't really give a rat's ass about standards compliance either, it's purely for aesthetics.

I just hate it when IE opens new windows for links instead of opening a new tab, i hate the yellow bar that pops up way too frequently for totally legit links and i hate the mediocre pop-up blocker even when it's set to highest setting.